Commerce secretary urges states to compete for semiconductor funds: ‘This is a race’

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urged states to compete for funding made available for producing semiconductors by the federal government during an event at Arizona State University on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. 

Raimondo gave remarks while touring a microchip manufacturing facility at the university with Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.). President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law earlier this month, providing more than $50 million in incentives for semiconductor manufacturers to build domestic plants. 

Semiconductors, also known as chips, are used in various technological devices, like cell phones, cars and weapons. 

Raimondo said states will have to compete with each other for the funding the act offers. 

“This is a race,” she said, according to Bloomberg. “It’ll be competitive. It’ll be transparent, and I hope every state competes.” 

Raimondo said every governor, state legislature and president of public universities should be putting together a “plan of attack” to secure funding. 

The legislation also includes more than $80 billion to the National Science Foundation over five years for research and innovation. 

Biden said after signing the act that it was a “once in a generation investment in America itself.

Supporters of the legislation have said that it will help the country compete with China’s semiconductor market and reduce U.S. reliance on foreign suppliers.

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